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Star of the Sea

The gable front
Category: 
Roman Catholic church, current

The church of Our Lady of the Sea, Kilcrohane was opened in 1897, replacing an earlier building which stood where the national school now is. This in turn had replaced a much older building which lies just outside the village, the grounds still used for burials. Father Kearney, the then parish priest, seems to have been responsible for most of the hard work and proved to be very resourceful in getting practical help and necessary materials. Mary Furlong, the landlord, donated the land and Father Kearney managed to get permission to use a gable and stones from the former abbey in Bantry. Red sandstone, quarried from nearby Dromnea, was brought to the site in carts. Father Kearney also promised to provided stone, sand, gravel and carriage of materials. These were brought to the Durrus Road station, now gone, or by boat to a landing place in Dunmanus Bay.

The church was designed by Samuel F Hynes from South Mall in Cork city and was built at a cost of £1750. A local builder, Patrick Sullivan of Seskin, was used. It is gable fronted  with a seven bay nave, with aisles to the west and east. The front has a large and distinctive quatrefoil window,  above which is a bellcote. The interior is light and airy with an impressively high double collar brace roof. The wood for the roof and for the pews is said to have  been 'wreck wood .... blown loose from ships during storms'. It i s mainly red deal and parana pine and was cut to shape by the Coakley family of Tooreen. 36 window, all with stained glass, commemorate local people. Other memorials include an elegant white marble plaque to the Father Kearney. Sadly he didn't live to see the church completed and the work was continued by Father O Leary who was also responsible for the Sacred Heart Church in Durrus. The quatrefoil window in the south, above the gallery, was filled with beautiful stained glass in 1997 as part of the centenary celebrations. This colourful window, donated by parishioners, depicts Peter the Fisherman.

The Star of the Sea Church still provides an essential and vibrant focal point for the local community. The grounds are beautifully kept with a little river running behind the church. A memorial plaque remembers the O Daly family, and three memorials commemorate members of the O Mahony family.

 

Townland: 
Ardahill
Location: 
In the main street, Kilcrohane
References: 
V 819 378
Fieldnotes: 

This church lies right in the very heart of the village opposite the national school The church is open during the day and is a quiet and restful place with a warm and welcoming air.